|Exterior, Hilton Bonnet Creek|
The grounds, common areas, and rooms are all immaculately maintained, but the people and the service they provide are what make the difference. Even though I arrived at the same time as several other parties, the front desk checked us all in quickly, bringing additional staff to the front desk to ensure that we were all taken care of promptly.
The hotel lobby features an activities desk where guests can purchase tickets to many nearby attractions, a three-acre lazy-river Florida style swimming pool, several restaurants, a championship golf club and golf course, and a spa. Business services are offered at a small on-site FedEx Office, and sundries are available at a shop featuring Disney paraphernalia.
|Guest room interior|
In keeping with the Hilton standards, virtually every staff member I passed in the hall, common areas, or our meeting space smiled and greeted me, and asked if there was anything I needed.
|Guest room workstation|
While the hotel has several dining facilities to choose from, I found the food to be a bit inconsistent.
I don’t care for buffets, breakfast or otherwise (though I have been known to bend the rules for a good Swedish smorgasbord!).. Far too often, the food has been sitting on a steam table too long and is no longer fresh and piping hot. Accordingly, when I ate breakfast in the Harvest Bistro downstairs my first morning, I chose eggs and sausage with a side of potatoes from the cooked-to-order menu.
When it came, the eggs were obviously freshly cooked but the sausages were dry and the potatoes were cold, as though those items were plated from the buffet tables. When I mentioned it to the manager, she offered to take the meal off my bill. When I declined, she offered me a two-for-one drink coupon for the restaurant’s sushi bar to use later than evening.
The items at Zeta sushi bar were quite good and, during the happy hour (5-7 for drinks; 6-7 for food items), very reasonably priced. One can make a filling meal out of $5 glasses of wine, sushi half-rolls (four pieces each) and other nibbles without breaking the bank or the expense account.
Dinner another evening in the Italian on-site restaurant La Luce by Donna Scala was pleasant. Several colleagues and I had a variety of dishes and not one of us was disappointed.
The food served at our events was consistently good and, while not haute cuisine, was several notches above standard conference fare.
Upon checkout, the excellent service once again came into play. When I didn’t recognize one of the charges on my bill, the desk clerk pulled the actual charge slip so I could examine it, then investigated further and quickly resolved the issue to my satisfaction.
Located about 30 minutes from Orlando International Airport (MCO), the hotel does not offer an airport shuttle. Arriving guests can choose from shared shuttle service from $21 plus gratuity, taxis, or numerous car services that charge approximately $65 for the one-way trip. If you’re traveling with your family or with colleagues, a taxi or town car can work out to be as inexpensive – as well as more convenient and faster – than a shared shuttle.
Once on site, the hotel offers free shuttles between the Disney theme parks and Downtown Disney.
Considering everything, I would definitely recommend the Hilton Bonnet Creek if your plans call for you to be in part of Orlando.
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Photos by Carl Dombek
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